Claim: On Oct. 26, 2023, Independent Probe Newspaper published that representative Yekeh Kolubah, a staunch supporter of the opposition Unity Party, endorsed the re-election of President George Weah in the run-off elections.
Verdict: Cannot be proven. The lawmaker, via a WhatsApp call with DUBAWA, denied endorsing President Weah in the run-off. The Editor of the Probe Newspaper also said that he could not provide evidence for the assertion because the paper’s conversation with Mr Kolubah was not recorded.
Representative Yekeh Kolubah of District#10 in Montserrado County has, over the years, been a critic of the George Weah-led government. The lawmaker has always repeated the need to remove the administration of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) from power due to what he believes to be widespread corruption, injustice, poor economy, amongst others.
However, on Oct. 26, 2023, the Independent Probe Newspaper (IPNEWS) published on its website an article about the lawmaker pledging his support to the Presidential bid of the CDC in the run-off elections scheduled for Nov. 14. The run-off is between President George Weah of the CDC and Amb. Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party.
“Breaking News: Rep. Yekeh Kolubah Endorses President George Weah’s Reelection,” Independent Probe quoted.
According to the media outlet, Kolubah, in a live phone interview, told them that the CDC is not a bad party. The website quoted Yekeh as saying, “The opposition Unity Party is unable to deliver Liberia from current circumstances.”
“In a live phone-in with IPNEWS, Representative Kolubah stated that the CDC is not a bad party, so what’s wrong with me endorsing President Weah?” The website was published.
The story featured a photo of the lawmaker wearing a white cap with figure two on it– a paraphernalia of the governing CDC government which appeared to have given credence to the report.
The newspaper also quoted Rep. Kolubah as saying, “The JNB team can’t deliver Liberia from its current condition, given the fact that criminals surround him.”
The report has sparked speculation and confusion amongst supporters of the two major political parties ahead of the run-off. The news has circulated on social media, blogs, and other platforms. This led DUBAWA to fact-check the assertion.
DUBAWA contacted the lawmaker Yekeh Kolubah via a WhatsApp call. However, he denied ever endorsing Mr Weah. Representative Kolubah stated that if he is to endorse anybody, it won’t be done in a closed-door meeting but publicly.
According to him, the article is only meant to spread false news to the public.
“Is that how to endorse someone? I’m a well-known man, and if I decide to endorse anybody, I will openly endorse them,” Rep. Kolubah said.
Also, DUBAWA contacted Mr Chester Smith, Editor of the Independent Probe Newspaper, for evidence of his publication. However, the Editor couldn’t provide any substantial evidence to back up the claim. He stated that he did not record the interview with Mr Kolubah.
Why did Kolubah wear the CDC’s cap?
On Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, the Lawmaker hosted a press conference at his office in Old Road and clarified that he didn’t endorse President George Weah but only wore the party campaign material for fun in the office of Speaker Bhofal Chambers.
“I can never support George Weah. For the past six years, I’ve been speaking on negative things done by this government, so what will I say to the Liberian people if I endorse George Weah? I respect my family name and will not sell my integrity for little or nothing. I wore the CDC campaign material for fun. It is not my first time wearing their materials,” Representative Kolubah said.
There is no evidence supporting the claim Independent Probe Newspaper attributed to the lawmaker. DUBAWA has gathered that Mr Kolubah didn’t endorse President George Weah in the run-off elections.